DoH tells GPs to ‘commission social care'

GPs should be commissioning social care services under practice-based commissioning (PBC), if they think that it would be as beneficial to health as traditional healthcare services.

GPs have shied away from commissioning social care in the past because it is means tested, but Bob Ricketts, reform head at the DoH, said that if any service benefits a patient’s health it should be commissioned.  

‘I think it’s nonsense that PBC cannot spend on social or other interventions if they can help a patient,’ he said.  

‘As long as you can demonstrate some sort of health benefit, then there should be more flexibility over where you can spend your money.’  

His comments mark another step in the government’s recent merging of health and social care spending.

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